The Farming Community Network (FCN) is launching a children’s book, Sir Port, at this year’s Royal Welsh Show, Monday, July 18 to Thursday, July 21.
The book was developed by the FCN and New Zealand author and illustrator Pauline McLeod, supported by the NFU Mutual Charitable Trust, in order to help children in rural communities develop resilience skills and a positive approach to change.
It follows the adventures of the title character and family dog Sir Port, and three generations of a family – Oliver, the son, plus, his mother, father and Granny, who try to overcome the chaos caused on farm by a heavy flood.
Sir Port depicts the family’s response to the flood; as they take care of their animals and focus on ‘tomorrow’ – ‘the brighter day when the sun rises again’. However it also centres on further agri-specific issues, such as new policies, Brexit and climate change, to help children understand and positively interpret such things that may be having an impact on their family.
Within the book, children and families are also encouraged to keep a ‘Joy Jar’ which they can fill with positive thoughts, feelings and memories that bring them comfort.
Copies of the Welsh version of the book, Y ci positif CEF NOGI a’r llifogydd dychrynllyd, will be available for the first time, on the FCN stand at the Royal Welsh Show, for a donation price of around £5. Head to the FCN stand in the National Sheep Association Pavilion in order to pick up your copy.
Dr Jude McCann, CEO of The FCN, said: “There is evidence of the trauma and stress rural families experience in the face of natural hazard events and radical policy shifts. There is increasing recognition of the impact of such events on children, yet the support available for children is ill-developed and generally difficult and costly to implement.”
“This little book offers a powerful means to move forward. It helps normalise change and suggests pathways to source further help. At the same time it offers reassurance that ‘everything will be ok’. We believe this story book fills an urgent, vital need in the current UK farming environment.”